WBGO Journal

Saturday 6:30am - 7am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Kean Stage
Kean Stage

The Kean Stage 2019/20 season continues with NPR's hit radio show Selected Shorts with Broadway, film and television actors Michael Cerveris, Dana Ivey and Richard Masur at Enlow Recital Hall in Hillside, New Jersey on November 16 at 7:30 p.m.

New York’s Symphony Space, which has presented Selected Shorts before a live audience since 1985, is bring the popular show to Enlow Recital Hall. 

David Byrne
Matthew Murphy

David Byrne's American Utopia is a theatrical event on Broadway. Theater Critic Michael Bourne came away happily "burned down with the house".

The show was created with choreographer Annie-B Parson and production consultant Alex Timbers.

David Bryne's American Utopia is playing at the Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street.

Click above to hear Michael's review.

A Taste of Newark
Link Community Charter School

2019 marks Link’s 50th anniversary and this Wednesday's A Taste of Newark celebration at NJPAC is an important milestone in the school’s history.

Maria Pilar Paradiso, Head of School at Link Community Charter School, came into WBGO to speak with News Director Doug Doyle about the popular fundraising event. 

The Rose Tattoo

Theater Critic Michael Bourne was certainly busy this week, splitting his time on Broadway and OFF-Broadway.

Michael reviews The Rose Tattoo  -- Broadway revival, Tennessee Williams, with Marisa Tomei

Bella Bella -- off-Broadway play, Harvey Fierstein as Bella Abzug

Linda Vista -- Second Stage, from Steppenwolf, dark comedy by Tracy Letts

The Independents -- off-Broadway play about the painters Degas and Mary Cassatt

The Lightning Thief -- Broadway musical, rock-ish derring-do for kids

Molly Fichter for WBGO News

With the leaves on the trees just beginning to turn, Duke Farms hosted a gathering of environmental educators of all kinds.

Science teachers and environmentalists from schools and parks across the state attended the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education outdoor conference. The perfect setting according to ANJEE Director Beth Stolting.

"We're about environmental education and that's outside. The whole idea behind this is to get away from the boxed in classroom and the laptops and computers and get outside."

Torah Bontrager
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Torah Bontrager, the founder and Executive Director the Amish Heritage Foundation was born and raised traditional Amish.  Bontrager says she escaped in the middle of the night at age 15 in order to go to high school. Eventually she graduated from Columbia University in New York

Now, through the Amish Heritage Foundation, she's attempting to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court case WI v. Yoder, which allows the Amish Church to keep its children from receiving an adequate education and from attending school beyond the Amish 8th grade.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The spread of influenza and the number of deaths rose quickly when the 1918 epidemic started in New Jersey.  And as health officials began to implement a statewide quarantine, The City of Newark’s Health Officer had his hands tied by Mayor Charles Gillan.

Newark Athletic Hall of Fame
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The 31st Newark Athletic Hall of Fame Annual Awards Dinner brought together some of the greatest to wear a uniform or coach a team. 18 more recipients were inducted into the Hall from different eras.  The event was held at the Best Western Hotel in Newark on October 17.

Television personality Lisa Durden was a track star at Vailsburg High School and was part of the 1982 record-breaking mile relay team.  It took Columbia High School 28 years to break that amazing time.  Durden is pleased to see girls/women get their due in the Hall.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Revealed: The Hunt For bin Laden is the latest exhibition from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.  For the first time, previously sealed evidence and artifacts will be displayed to the public.

Molly Sweeney
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne goes Off-Broadway to catch Brian Friel's Molly Sweeney.

The play is about consequences and ironies of what happens when a blind woman is able to see and is being performed by Keen Company at Theatre Row, West 42nd Street.

Click above to hear Michael's review.

Gladys Barker Grauer
Colleen Gutwein

Gladys Barker Grauer passed away on September 5, 2019, but she is still being remembered through film festivals, documentaries and artist workshops. 

Gladys Barker Grauer’s life ranges from her birth in Chicago, attending the Chicago Art Institute to the Newark socialist left, from opening Newark’s first art gallery, Aard Studio, in 1971. 

WBGO's Brit Harley had the chance to sit down with Glady's daughter and also found never heard audio of Gladys in her own words.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The US Census Bureau is hosting community job hiring events as part of its National Recruiting Week, where census officials engage with people interested in positions and the application process.  

The Billie Holiday Theatre and Hollis King

The Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn presents the world premiere of Reparations, by playwright James Sheldon and directed by Tony Award-nominated Michele Shay.

Reparations tells the story of a recently widowed white book editor who invites a younger black writer to her apartment, only to find that a night of tenderness and passion turns into a complex and unforeseen morning-after when he threatens to reveal a dark secret.


More than 180,000 New Jersey residents are living with Alzheimer's disease while many others are caring for a family member with Alzheimer's. 

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America's President and CEO and former New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. spoke to WBGO's News Director Doug Doyle about the Foundation's upcoming caregiver educational conference at Rutgers University's Busch Student Center in Piscatway on Tuesday, October 29. 

Jon Kalish for WBGO News

Construction to begin by the end of this month on a plant in Linden that will turn treated sewage sludge into biochar. Biochar is a form of charcoal but it’s not used as a fuel. The biochar produced at the Linden plant will be used as a substitute for fly ash in concrete.

Biochar can also be made from nut shells, wood chips and landscaping waste. Biochar has environmental value because it sequesters carbon and can filter agricultural chemical before they run-off into lakes and streams. Biochar is being embraced in New England.

(A)loft Modulation

In his new play (A)loft Modulation, playwright James Jorsling brings to life 821 Sixth Avenue as it was during the 1950s and '60s, a time when musicians and others would be up until the wee hours. 

Jorsling takes us to a dilapidated five-floor walk-up loft in Manhattan's seedy flower district.  It's there where the magic happens.  Inspired by true events, (A)loft Modulation is directed by Christopher McElroen with this off-Broadway world premiere featuring a live jazz band led by saxophonist Jonathan Beshay.

‘WELCOME TO JAZZ: A Swing-Along Celebration of America’s Music’ is authored by educator Carolyn Sloan.  The story of three young cats that visit a jazz club in New Orleans.

“It’s a little bit of an inside joke since musicians are usually the cats but here, we have cats watching humans.  We sort of flipped it on its head there,” Sloan said.

The children’s book uses an interactive side panel of sounds to explain concepts in music.

The Great Society
Michael Bourne for WBGO

As the weather is cooling down, the theatre season is heating up.  Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews two new plays on Broadway, The Great Society and  The Height of The Storm.

Click above to hear both of Michael's reviews.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Improving attendance in all Newark Public Schools is a major part of superintendent Roger Leon’s plan to bring up grades across the district.  And while an elementary school has the best overall attendance with around 97 percent of students, Leon is challenging high school kids to match that goal.

“On standardized achievement, in classroom work, the students who are coming to school are going to outperform those who do not,” Leon said.

Michael Bapis
Joe Favorito for WBGO News

Michael Bapis has used his sports background to help him give financial advice to many professional athletes and entertainers.  He's the Managing Director for Vios Advisors, the wealth management firm that is part of Rockefeller Capital Management. Vios Advisors specializes in working with high-net-worth individuals and families, preserving and optimizing their wealth.

The Wrong Man
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Not only is more and more theatre happening off Broadway,  more new theaters also have opened.   Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews The Wrong Man, a musical about a man wrongly convicted, and (A)loft Modulation, a play with jazz.

Click above to hear both reviews.

Antonio Banderas
Sony Classics

Pain and Glory is writer-director Pedro Almodóvar’s 21st film in a career spanning nearly 40 years.  I caught it at this year’s resplendent Toronto film Festival, but it touched down briefly at the ongoing 57th NY Film Festival, which ends this weekend after 17 days with a reprise of some of the festival’s 40 films.

Ask Governor Murphy

Last night's Ask Governor Murphy call-in show on WBGO covered a range of topics including lead in the drinking water, vaping, the Meadowlands power plant and NJ Transit.

WBGO News Director Doug Doyle filled in for regular host Nancy Solomon of WNYC.

Ask Governor Murphy is a WBGO News production in collaboration with WNYC  in New York and WHYY in Philadelphia.

Newark’s Black Media Story Summit follows a similar event at Google’s New York headquarters last year.  

“This is our second regional summit,” said Gregory Warren, Black Media Story Summit regional program director.  “Some of the challenges are the same, funding, distribution, there’s a need for platforms specifically dealing with that black content.  But we need to start the conversation somewhere and these Summits are meant to do just that.”

It may come as a surprise to some Garden Staters that there is an election this year.

In the General Assembly, all 80 seats are up for grabs, and there is one special state Senate election in South Jersey on Nov. 5.

New Jersey is one of just five states that hold elections for statewide office in odd-numbered years. To understand why you have to go back to 1947.

In that year, John Kolesar was just starting out as an undergraduate at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. One day, he went to pick up some books at the gym and noticed something across the room.

Goldin Auctions
Goldin Auctions

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is probably the most decorated athlete in history, dominating during his high school days, his amazing 3-time championship career at UCLA and his 20-year, six championship NBA career.

Now Goldin Auctions is offering 48 items from Kareem Abdul Jabbar's personal collection.  Kareem and Frank Dinote, controller with Goldin Auctions, joined SportsJam host Doug Doyle to share memories and talk about the items up for auction through October 19.


Sunday, a play off-Broadway by Jack Thorne, is running at the Atlantic Theater Company.  Theater critic Michael Bourn says while Broadway shows are already opening for the holidays, he's been spending several week mostly OFF-Broadway.

Click above to hear Michael's review of Sunday.

Kehinde Wiley
Jon Kalish for WBGO News

Late last month, a new sculpture was unveiled in Times Square. Entitled ”Rumors of War,” the latest work by the African-American artist Kehinde Wiley. is a response to the many monuments honoring Confederate war heroes in Richmond, Virginia.

WBGO's Jon Kalish was on hand for the unveiling and filed this report.

Click above to hear the feature.

Chris Thorn
T. Charles Erickson

Cyrano,  written by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers, is an adaptation from the famous play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand.  Cyrano is directed by Meredith McDonough and is a co-production with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

One of the stars of Cyrano, Chris Thorn, has been a part of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in the past. Thorn recently sat down at Two River Theater with WBGO's Doug Doyle to talk about this production, his career and Two River Theater.

Ian Showell / Getty Images

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the North Carolina Arts Council, the N.C. African American Heritage Commission and the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced this week that more than $60,000 has been raised during the North Carolina Year of Music to benefit the rehabilitation and preservation of Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon, N.C.